POLICE are investigating the alleged rape of a woman by her step-brother at a hotel.
Staff at the Edwardian Hotel on Blackpool Promenade have spoken of their shock following an incident in the early hours of Monday morning.
A 34-year-old man from Liverpool was arrested and later released on bail pending further inquiries.
Det Insp Tony Baxter, of Blackpool Police, confirmed both the alleged victim and attacker were from Merseyside and were step-brother and step-sister.
He said: “We can confirm police received a call in the early hours of Monday morning and a 34-year-old male was arrested and later released on bail.
“We are still in the very early stages of an investigation but the people involved were related, they were not strangers”
Receptionist Katy Desborough was working at the seafront hotel when the alleged victim arrived on Sunday afternoon.
She told The Gazette she couldn’t believe it when she found out what had been reported.
She said: “I was the one who checked the woman into the hotel on Sunday, she was on her own at that time and seemed to be OK.
“I finished my shift at 8pm so didn’t hear or see anything else but the next day I received a call telling me what had happened.
“I was really shocked when I found out what had been reported, especially because I had checked her in, I hadn’t seen that one coming at all.”
Matthew Cheltenham, proprietor of the Wembley Hotel next door to the Edwardian said he had seen a lot of police activity.
He said: “I know police were called to the hotel on Sunday night and a man was arrested and taken away.
“We could see crime scene investigators wearing white boiler suits coming in and out of the hotel all day on Monday.
“I was told there had been an alleged rape and the couple were related to each other, it’s the last thing Blackpool needs.
“As a hotelier you do see a lot of things because you get all types of different people through your doors, especially in a tourist area.
“I wouldn’t say I was necessarily shocked when I heard what had supposedly happened but it isn’t very nice is it, it’s not what you want to hear about.
“You don’t expect things like that to happen right next door to you though.”